COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — 57,000 square feet- destroyed in an instant. A gas explosion destroyed a commercial building in Howard County and that building is being torn down nearly five months later.

“It was an early Sunday morning, I remember among my coworkers getting texts saying ‘Did you hear what happened? It was right across the street!'”

A gas leak on August 25, 2019 is to blame for the massive explosion that reduced much of the building to rubble. But by some miracle, nobody was hurt.

“I was thinking if it was Monday at that time of the morning, the cleaners are there, the folks at Krav Maga would have been there, so we were glad to hear nobody’s life was effected physically that way.”

“Every time I look at it I wonder when they’re going to tear it down or rebuild it.”

All the businesses inside were damaged and had to relocate or close and wait for the day they can once again operate there.

“I just hope it happens soon, so the fences are gone and people can frequent the shopping center.”

Howard County granted contractors permits in December 2019 so they could start tearing down the entire second story of the building, leaving a section of the first floor wing to be repaired.

Crews used heavy equipment to knock down portions of the building that were damaged beyond repair.

WJZ reached out to some of the businesses but couldn’t get a hold of anyone, as many have closed or reopened in other areas around Maryland.

The demolition is expected to be complete in month’s time.

Rachael Cardin

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